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Top 20 Under 40 Winners Revealed

Finding (and retaining) dynamic employees who can lead, innovate and transform corporate cultures is a goal management teams nationwide are always striving to attain. And with a looming crisis of retiring pilots, maintenance workers and other skilled aviation and aerospace professions, the search for these multi-dimensional all-stars is suddenly paramount.


July 5, 2016
By Wings Magazine

Fortunately, Canada is blessed with talented young aviation and aerospace personnel and many are under the age of 40. In Wings and Helicopters fourth annual Top 20 Under 40 special report, we proudly highlight some of these top achievers – men and women who have helped transform their organizations in maintenance, business operations, flight operations and more. And this year, we’ve taken it up a notch – highlighting 20 top achievers who are making their marks in their respective organizations.

The 20 individuals featured here were carefully selected by our editorial team following an online contest that ran earlier this spring. Candidates were nominated by colleagues based on their influence to drive change, leadership skills, commitment to clients/colleagues, and their forward thinking towards the industry as a whole. In most cases, nominators had several years of experience working with the candidates, observing how they cultivated their skills and grew in their respected spheres.

Featured alphabetically, our Top 20 Under 40 achievers represent the resourcefulness, commitment and dedication organizations are craving in today’s marketplace. On behalf of the nominees, candidates and winners, we thank you for your support and salute the achievements of all who participated.

Top 20 Under 40 Winners 2016

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  • Shawn Braiden, Acting PRM, Aeroflight International Services/Harbour Air, Richmond, B.C.
  • Denis Bourgouin, Director of Maintenance, Fast Air, Winnipeg
  • Sean Davies, Co-owner/Operator, Maintair Aviation, Thunder Bay, Ont.
  • Gary Dew, Hardware Engineer, Aversan Inc., Mississauga
  • Jesse Goranson, Manager, Marketing and Strategy, Heli-One, Richmond, B.C.
  • Warren Gosselin, Dir. Technical Operations Revenue Services, NAV CANADA, Ottawa
  • Milena Kohanenko, Aviation Compliance Manager, Ledcor, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Jocelyn Lebell, Director of Corporate Services, Hawkair, Terrace. B.C.
  • Candace McKibbon, Executive Director, BC Aviation Council, Langley, B.C.
  • Dusty Miller, Westwind Captain and Deputy Flight Safety Officer, Discovery Air Defence, Victory, B.C.
  • Micheal Nault, Program Director, Light Helicopters, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, Montreal
  • Natalie Panek, Mission Systems Engineer, MDA Robotics and Automation Division, Brampton, Ont.
  • Chrissy Perry, Chief Flying Instructor, KF Aerospace Defence Services, Portage la Prairie, Man.
  • Erik Polzin, Founder/CEO, Sitka Aviation, Sprucedale, Ont.
  • Jeff Roberts, Avonics/Electrical Systems Designer, AME, Avmax, Vancouver
  • Stephanie Robinson, B1900D Captain, Air Georgian, Mississauga, Ont.
  • Graham Snell, General Manager, Saskatoon/Regina Aerocentres and Lancaster Aviation Fuels, Saskatoon/Regina, Sask.          
  • Mark Steinbeck, President, Traxxall Technologies, Montreal
  • Bert Van Der Stege, Vice President, Commercial, First Air, Kanata, Ont.
  • Gabriel Zellbeck, Assistant Chief Pilot, L R Helicopters, Calgary

Check out the July/August issue of Wings and the July issue of Helicopters for the complete story.